Does God Really Care? The Story of Job
Job and friends
The story of Job in the Old Testament is one of the most interesting stories in the Bible. In the story, the devil says to God that the only reason Job worships Him (God) is because God continues to provide for him (riches, family, friends etc). God allows the devil to destroy these things to prove that Job does not simply worship Him for what he has been blessed with, but rather because he genuinely loves God. Many people find it troubling that God would allow the devil to almost completely destroy Job to prove that Job genuinely loves him, but I think there is more to learn from the story. Job loses his children and all his property and ends up sitting on ashes (a sign of showing extreme grief in ancient times) a sick man. One important aspect of the story that many people may not give much attention to is Job's wife. Although Job loses everything and even becomes ill (with rashes all over his body) we are not told that his wife also becomes sick and as desperate. Regardless, she asks Job to just curse God and die. While Job is described as having been a "perfect and upright" man shunned evil, this is not said of his wife.
By comparing the two (Job and his wife) it becomes clear as to why the devil would go for Job and his wife. She is materialistic and without wealth, she has no reason to fear and worship God. This, I would think could also have been the only reason she was married to Job (but that's just my opinion). This, however, is not the case with Job. In Job 2:10, Job condemns her by asking "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" For a majority, if not all believers, this is an important story that shows why the devil targets and goes after those who are striving towards knowing God and those who are close to God. One question that man Christians and believers ask is why those who are considered wicked and evil seem to be succeeding in everything they do while believers always seem to be struggling. By looking at the story of Job, it is clear as to why. This, however, is not long lasting given that God always comes through. This becomes evidently clear when we listen to the testimony of many that God has lifted up. You may also have your testimony. I know I have mine.
Job and wife
I hold that God cares even when we think or assume that he has forgotten us. This is true in the story of not only Job, but also Jonah who was swallowed by a large fish. Despite being swallowed and staying in the belly of the fish for three days (probably not knowing what would happen to him) God causes the fish to take him to the place he was initially sent (to a very evil and brutal people) where he delivers God's word and allows him to be the reason the people of Nineveh were saved; All these because God cares.
What to take from the story
As for Job, his genuine love for God, and not just for what God gave him saw him getting back everything he lost and more. Matthew 6:33 says "seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you". This is not to say that we should follow God simply because we want to be blessed and become wealthy (leave that to prosperity Gospel preachers and their audience) but rather because everything that comes from God is good and right. God has genuine love and care for his people. It is for this reason that he is against what is evil and wrong given that these things only lead to destruction. Evil and bad things are what the devil continue to offer. He may provide everything that the heart of man desires, but he does not care or love you. In the end everything he offers will only lead to a very bad end. Simply listen to various testimonies of those who have been delivered to the evil one and you will find this to be true. As one pastor used to say, a good parent prevents the child from certain harmful things (cussing, drinking, interacting with bad friends etc) but a bad parent simply allows the child to do whatever he/she wants, which in most cases only negatively affects them in their adulthood.
© 2017 Patrick